The Defra Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme which offers up to 40% grant funding (between £3,000 to £12,000) on a range of capital items up to a value of £30,000 closed for applications on March 14th 2018. This initial grant round has been very popular, and is good news for our members. The overall scheme was oversubscribed.
Members are now receiving letters from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) as to whether their applications have been successful.
More information about the Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme can be found HERE.
Successful applicants have a 150 calendar day period in which to purchase equipment and submit a claim for payment. They have an initial 14 day cooling off period from receipt of the grant offer in which to decline the offer of the grant, should they wish to do so. If they do not act within the 14 days, they are deemed to have accepted the grant funding. We are now receiving numerous instances, particularly with livestock handling equipment such as cattle crushes that the manufacturers lead time to delivery is more than 150 days. This will mean that successful grant applicants will be outside the window in which to receive this funding.
The NFU are in active and frequent contact with representatives at Defra about ways to try and resolve this issue and provide a favourable outcome for members. The NFU is determined that this valuable grant funding opportunity is not lost to members and that our members are not out of pocket as a result of losing this funding due to the 150 day limit.
NFU members should ascertain the availability of equipment with their suppliers immediately following the decision of a successful funding outcome.